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January 11th Bracketology: Shuffle At The Top

Editor's Note: This bracket is cross-posted at SB Nation.

The past seven days, particularly Saturday and Sunday, weren't the time to be a ranked (or highly-seeded) team.

That means there are quite a few changes to the top four lines of this week's bracket (seed list, trends spreadsheet), with ripple effects from lines 5 through 12.

The biggest change is at the top where Purdue and Syracuse join Kentucky and Texas, two teams who managed to make it through Carnage Weekend unscathed (though the Wildcats had to fight off Georgia).

Why the Boilermakers instead of the Jayhawks? Well, Purdue has a few more quality wins than Kansas at this point. Plus, they both now have an opponent in common, Tennessee. The Boilers beat a full-strength Vol team before Thanksgiving in the Paradise Jam championship game. And we all know how the Jayhawks fared in their meeting with Tennessee.

Syracuse was the top team on the 2 line last week, so they slide up to replace the Jayhawks after wins over Memphis and South Florida.

More on what happened on seed lines 2 on down in a bit.

The Rundown

Before, I break down this week's bracket any further, here's a quick look at the top seeds and the race at the bottom of the bracket. Teams are ordered based on their place on the S-curve (the 1 to 65 ranking of the team's in the field).

Top Seeds: TexasKentuckySyracusePurdue
Last Four In: Virginia Tech, Rhode Island, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest
First Four Out: Notre DameIllinoisFlorida, Cornell
Next Four Out:Texas TechWashington, Richmond, San Diego State

Here's a conference by conference list of who's in, again presented in S-curve order with seed numbers in parentheses.

Conference Breakdown

ACC: 8
Duke (2), North Carolina (3), Florida State (5), Clemson (6), Georgia Tech (6), Miami (FL) (8), Virginia Tech (12), Wake Forest (12)

Big East: 8
Syracuse (1), Villanova (2), West Virginia (3), Georgetown (3), Pittsburgh (7), Cincinnati (9), Connecticut (9), Louisville (9)

Big 12: 7
Texas (1), Kansas (2), Kansas State (4), Texas A&M (6), Missouri (8), Baylor (10), Oklahoma State (11)

Big Ten: 5
Purdue (1), Michigan State (2), Wisconsin (3), Minnesota (7), Ohio State (7) 

SEC: 5
Kentucky (1), Tennessee (4), Mississippi (5), Mississippi State (5), Vanderbilt (10)

Mountain West: 4
BYU (4), UNLV (5), New Mexico (6), Colorado State (13)

Atlantic-10: 3
Temple (8), Dayton (10), Rhode Island (11)

West Coast: 2
Gonzaga (4), St. Mary's (10)

One Bid Leagues: 23
America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Pacific-10, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, Western Athletic

After the jump, I'll take a look at the significant shifts outside of the top line of this week's bracket.

Movers And Shakers

Two seeds: Kansas slides down here after an underwhelming week, while Duke sticks around despite their loss at Georgia Tech thanks to their resume as a whole. Villanova remains steady after getting a big win over DePaul Wednesday and beating Marquette in a close one for the second Saturday in a row. Michigan State actually moved up from a 3 seed after topping Wisconsin at home and Iowa on the road.  

Three seeds: West Virginia, who has been struggling against good competition of late, fell from the 2 line thanks to a shaky performance in their loss at Notre Dame Saturday night. Sure, the Mountaineers demolished Rutgers Wednesday, but it's Rutgers. Georgetown remains as a 3 after a week where they fell at Marquette and pulled off a huge comeback to top Connecticut. Meanwhile, Wisconsin used a week of mixed results -- a loss to the Spartans and a win over Purdue -- to move up. North Carolina is barely hanging on after a week where they grabbed a conference win after suffering one of the upsets of the season.

Four seeds: There was significant shuffling in the last line of protected seeds. .With the Pac-10 going through the absolute definition of a down year, it's likely that Eastern teams are going to be the high seeds in San Jose and Spokane come March.

Gonzaga is doing their best to make things a little easier on the Committee. I have them playing not far from campus at Spokane Arena, as they survived a challenge from Portland on Saturday. BYU is another team more than happy to stay out West. I slotted them at the Thursday site, San Jose, as they cannot play in a Friday/Sunday pod for religious reasons. The Cougars edged UNLV to start the Mountain West campaign, then topped UTEP on the road out of conference. BYU replaces New Mexico, who fell down to the 6 line after their two losses to start the Mountain West season. Kansas State falls to a 4 after their loss at Missouri Saturday, while Tennessee moves up from a 6, as they got two big home wins despite being shorthanded.

The middle: Mississippi fell to the 5 line after their loss in the hoops Egg Bowl, while Mississippi State used their win to remain as a 5.  The Bulldogs looked sure to fall after their loss to Western Kentucky earlier in the week. UNLV jumped up to a 5 seed after grabbing a decent split in their first two league games, while Florida State fell from the 4 line after their loss at Maryland.

Georgia Tech is a 6 thanks to their win over Duke, but the Yellow Jackets' loss to Georgia on Tuesday kept them from moving higher.

Minnesota stays on line 7 after a loss to formerly-top seeded Purdue and a big home win over Ohio State. The Buckeyes join them as a 7 seed, but they should make a move up the bracket once Evan Turner is fully integrated into the lineup. He first saw action in OSU's win over Indiana Wednesday, but he's not 100 percent quite yet.

Missouri jumped up to an 8 seed thanks to the Kansas State win, and Miami rose from the 9 line to the 8 line after their close win over Wake Forest Saturday. The Demon Deacons stay in for the moment, despite the loss.

Cincinnati and Connecticut both drop down to the 9 line after losses Saturday. I already mentioned the Huskies' collapse at Georgetown, but Cincinnati's loss wasn't a good one either. The Bearcats were the team who ended Seton Hall's run of bad luck.

Baylor and Vanderbilt, two teams who entered the bracket last week, move up from the 11 line to the 10 line after their wins Saturday. The Bears hammered Oklahoma, beating the Sooners for the first time in 33 years, while the Commodores topped fellow bubble team Florida, who fell out of the bracket.


Rhode Island dropped from the 10 to the 11 line, thanks to their loss to Temple in the A-10 Sunday.

DeparturesJoining the Gators on the outside looking in this week are Texas Tech, who fell by 29 at Oklahoma State on Saturday, and 

Washington, whose Pac-10 losing streak stands at three after losses at Arizona State and Arizona.

California is the only Pac-10 team in the bracket this week. The Golden Bears replace Oregon as the conference's auto-bid holder, as the Ducks lost the last Civil War game at Mac Court to Oregon State Sunday night.

Arrivals: Only two new at-large teams appear in this week's projection. Oklahoma State is a straight swap for Texas Tech. The two have similar profiles, so the head-to-head matchup is a tiebreaker.


Louisville is in thanks to three straight wins to start the Big East season, even though Providence, USF and St. John's aren't exactly murderer's row.

Illinois has a good case, as they've also started the Big Ten season with three straight victories, but the Illini started to have issues out-of-conference right about when the Cardinals started to move past their non-league struggles. Both teams face big conference tests this week. Louisville hosts Villanova for Big Monday and travels to Pittsburgh Saturday. Illinois should move to 4-0 against Penn State at home Tuesday, but a game at Michigan State Saturday will be a completely different matter.

Notre Dame is another team who's just on the cusp of getting in, especially after their thrilling home win over West Virginia, but their other Big East victories are courtesy of weaklings USF and Providence. The Irish also fell to underachieving UConn in Hartford.

Auto Bids: One at-large bid disappeared this week, as Colorado State holds the Mountain West's auto bid. The Rams are they're the only team in the conference with a 2-0 record. 

The other auto bid of note this week is the Ivy League. You may be wondering why Cornell isn't in the bracket. The answer is simple scheduling quirk. Harvard is the only member of the Ancient Eight to record a conference win so far, as they defeated Dartmouth on Saturday. So, the Crimson are in for the moment, while the Big Red are among the first teams out.

Butler (Horizon), Northern Iowa (Missouri Valley), Siena (MAAC) and Louisiana Tech (WAC) all moved up in this bracket thanks to continued excellence in conference play. The Horizon League very nearly had two teams in this week; however, as Butler needed OT to top Detroit Sunday.

Western Kentucky looked to have jumped back in as the Sun Belt rep after they won another overtime thriller over South Alabama Thursday. However, they fell to Denver on Sunday, so the Pioneers hold the auto bid instead.

It was a very good week for the state of Colorado, Northern Colorado out of the Big Sky joins Colorado State and Denver in the bracket as conference leaders.

Finally, College of Charleston is no longer a 16 seed. They move up to line 13 after their win over North Carolina.

Games To Watch

To help you plan your viewing week, here's seven days worth of games to check out. Check in throughout the week for more on these games, and the many that didn't make the cut, throughout the week. Seeds in this bracket are in parentheses, with bubble teams represented by a B.

(2) Villanova at (9) Louisville, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
(16) Morgan State at Hampton, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(11) Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)

(7) Ohio State at (1) Purdue, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
(6) Texas A&M at (4) Kansas State, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
(B) Maryland at (12) Wake Forest, 8 p.m. ET (Raycom/Full Court)
(1) Kentucky at (B) Florida, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Bradley at (8) Northern Iowa, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Penn State at (B) Illinois, 9 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

(7) Minnesota at (2) Michigan State, 6:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
(7) Pittsburgh at (9) Connecticut, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(9) Cincinnati at St. John's, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
Charlotte at (B) Xavier, 7 p.m. ET (FS Ohio)
(5) Ole Miss at Georgia, 8 p.m. ET (SEC Network/Full Court)
(3) Wisconsin at (B) Northwestern, 8:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
(3) North Carolina at (6) Clemson, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
(2) Kansas at (B) Nebraska, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(8) Missouri at (B) Texas Tech, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(10) Vanderbilt at (B) Alabama, 9 p.m. ET (SEC on CSS/Full Court)
(B) San Diego State at (5) UNLV, 10 p.m. ET (CBS College)
Utah at (6) New Mexico, 10 p.m. ET (the mtn.)
Utah State at Nevada, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

(B) Seton Hall at (3) Georgetown, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Auburn at (4) Tennessee, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Arkansas at (5) Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(B) Arizona State at Oregon, 8:30 p.m. ET (OSN/CSN Northwest)
Fresno State at (12) Louisiana Tech, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN Plus/Full Court)
Stanford at (B) Washington, 10:30 p.m. ET (FSN/Comcast SportsNet)
(4) Gonzaga at (10) St.Mary's, 11 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

(10) Dayton at (B) Xavier, 11 a.m. ET (ESPN2)
(1) Syracuse at (3) West Virginia, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
(9) Louisville at (7) Pittsburgh, 12 p.m. ET (Big East Network/Full Court)
(8) Missouri at Oklahoma, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(B) Texas Tech at (2) Kansas, 1:30 p.m. ET (BIg 12 Network/Full Court)
(B) Alabama at Arkansas, 1:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network/Full Court)
(5) Ole Miss at (4) Tennessee, 1:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network/Full Court)
(6) Georgia Tech at (3) North Carolina, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(11) California at (B) Washington, 2:30 p.m. ET (FSN/Comcast SportsNet)
(13) College of Charleston at Chattanooga, 2:30 p.m. ET (SportSouth/FCS Atlantic/Full Court)
Georgia at (5) Mississippi State, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(B) Illinois at (2) Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
(B) Notre Dame at (9) Cincinnati, 4 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(11) Oklahoma State at (10) Baylor, 4 p.m. ET (Big 12 Network/Full Court)
(B) Maryland at Boston College, 4 p.m. ET (Raycom/Full Court)
(1) Purdue at (B) Northwestern, 5:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
(6)Texas A&M at (1) Texas, 6 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(11) Virginia Tech at (5) Florida State, 6 p.m. ET (FS Florida/FS South/CSN Washington+/NESN)
(13) Colorado State at (4) BYU, 6 p.m ET (the mtn.)
(16) Morgan State at South Carolina State, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
LSU at (B) Florida, 8 p.m. ET (SEC on FSN/Full Court)
(16) Prairie View A&M at Jackson State, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
(3) Wisconsin at (7) Ohio State, 9 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Utah at (5) UNLV, 10 p.m. ET (CBS College)
TCU at (B) San Diego State, 10 p.m. ET (the mtn.)
Portland at (10) St. Mary's, 10 p.m. ET (CSN Northwest/CSN California+)

(3) Georgetown at (2) Villanova, 12 p.m. ET (Big East Network/Full Court)
(9) Connecticut at Michigan, 1:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Boston University at (15) Vermont, 2 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
(7) Minnesota at Indiana, 4:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
(12) Wake Forest at (2) Duke, 8 p.m. ET (FSN/Comcast SportsNet)